NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0050

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Program Information for 2016A-0050


PI: Steve B Howell, NASA Ames Research Center, steve.b.howell@nasa.gov
Address: Ames Research Center, P.O. Box 1 M/S 244-20, Moffett Field, CA 94035 US

CoI: Elliott Horch, SCSU
CoI: Mark Everett, NOAO
CoI: Johanna Teske, Carnegie Institution of Washington

Title: Validation, Radius Determination, and Host Star Binarity of K2 Exoplanets

Abstract: The NASA K2 mission, using the repurposed Kepler telescope, has observed, so far, over 50,000 bright and/or near-by stars in order to detect transiting planet candidates via their light curve transit signatures. K2 has been shown to have essentially the same photometric precision as Kepler and has already demonstrated its planet finding ability with twenty-five newly discovered and confirmed Earth to Neptune size planets. In the past few years, our team has shown that 1) 50\% of exoplanet host stars are binaries and that 2) without a high resolution image of the host star small exoplanets can not be validated at the 99+\% level and 3) the true exoplanet radius can be incorrect by, on average, a factor or 1.5, that is the planet is larger than assumed. Given the high-value planets being discovered by K2, planets which are available for ground-based and space-based follow-up to get masses, densities, and soon atmospheric composition, validation and determination of the true radius are crucial factors to further exoplanet characterization. K2 targets near-by M stars, bright main sequence stars, and subgiant stars, and is finding many planets and candidates with radii of $<$3 R\_e. This proposal will obtain high resolution imaging of a large sample of K2 mission validated exoplanets and candidates. We will make all of our high resolution images publicly available immediately.

Program Type: Standard/NASA WIYN

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  WIYN/DSSI -- 40hrs


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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